You just graduated from film school, or maybe you want a career change. Either way, you are new to the film industry and looking for work. But just how do you design a production assistant resume when you have little to no experience.
You can find lots of entry-level film jobs and internships on our jobs page. Below you will learn how to design your production assistant resume to the industry standard.
Why You Need A Film Resume
When you apply for a film job online, you will be asked to attach a resume. Unless you are being recommended for a job, the person hiring will always ask for a resume. Later, when you become well-known and trusted in the film industry, you can rely on recommendations. So, if you are new to the industry, you will likely need to create a resume.
When you apply for an entry-level film job, you will be asked to write a cover letter and attach a resume to the email. Full-time film jobs might also have an online questionnaire to fill out. Film resume's can be written on any text document but should be sent over as a PDF. There is also a specific design that is best suited towards film work. This design applies to all film crew jobs, but specifically, we will be looking at entry-level positions.
Film Resume Design
Film crew resume design is different to an ordinary day job resume. That is because film industry work is freelance and often on a short term basis. Producers also don't want to waste time hiring. So ideally, a glance at a production assistant resume should let them know everything. Luckily, making a film resume is also not complicated, and graphic design knowledge is not essential.
A film crew resume will be plain, with no images and type with a regular non-distracting font (for example, Calibri, Times New Roman, Cambria, Georgia). Importantly film resume's should be one page long. At the start of your career, this will be more than enough space. When you build up more experience, you can place selected film credits. However, if you have too much to show, you can link to your IMBD page, LinkedIn or a personal website.
What to Include on a Film resume -
Your Job Title
At the very top of your resume should be your job title. So for a production assistant resume, your job title is production assistant or runner. If you are applying for a specific department, make sure you label yourself as entry-level by using a title such as a trainee or assistant. For example, camera trainee, art department assistant, costume trainee.
You should also include your name and contact details. For contact, details list your email and mobile phone number. Your full home address is not necessary, but you can label your base location. For example, New York, LA, Vancouver. It is possible to work in multiple locations in the US, so you can list more than one, especially if you have accommodation.
You don't need to have a personal brief, but it can be a great marketing tool. This paragraph lets people know who you are and what type of work you are looking for. This should be short 3-5 sentences long and touch upon the basics. For example, you could mention that you are a graduate with intern experience and looking for your first production office job. The trick is to give the reader what they are looking for, which is often a reliable person with some experience, valuable skills and a good attitude.
If you are unsure what to write in your personal statement, browse our jobs board. Make a note of what skills and experience are people looking for from entry-level workers. PA jobs like people with a driving licence, and producers prefer previous work experience. As such, you can stand out quickly by mentioning any relevant skills and work experience in the personal statement.
Personal statement examples –
Lastly, you should try and list any skills that are relevant to your job role. For entry-level positions, this includes practical skills like driving licence, car owner and walk talkie trained. For production office work list scheduling software, administration and Excel. You can also mention personality traits like reliability, common sense and enthusiasm.
Resume Work Credits
The bulk of your production assistant resume should be your work credits. If you are applying for film crew work, you should list your work credits neatly down the page. For a full-time position, you can include more information on your former jobs. It's still good practice to stick to one page, even for full-time film work. You don't need to mention everything you have done, only the most impressive and relevant work.
Your work credits should be listed with the production title, your job role and the work date. It's also helpful to mention the project type, for example, short film, feature, high-end TV, commercial. Mentioning production company names and your head of department's name can help show trust. If you worked with an acclaimed filmmaker or well-known talent, this could also give you a little boost.
But what if you don't have any previous work experience?
Film jobs are highly competitive, so having some experience will help you stand out. Examples of experience include working on student films, low-budgets and internships. Above all, producers want people they can trust to do the job. So if you have never been on a film set before, try to gain experience to know what is expected from you. A few credits on low-budgets can provide you with this essential experience.
What you can Include in your Work Credits –
At the bottom of your production assistant resume, place any higher education. If you have completed a film course, put this here. Include the institution's name, your course name, date and grade (especially if you got a high GPA). If you didn't study film, still include any high school education. This is also an excellent place to put any relevant film workshops and certificates that you might have.
If you are unsure what to add, look at entry-level job advertisements and see what is expected from your role. You can also tailor your production assistant resume slightly for each position. Just make sure that you can do the job you are applying for!
Would you like to share your set stories, write reviews or blog about your journey into the industry? MFJF would love to hear from you!